Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wisdom Wednesday: Genetic Nutrition and Fitness Assessment

Genetic testing for a variety of metabolic issues has been available for quite some time. However, until recently the cost was prohibitive. Over the course of the past two years competition and technical advancements have driven the price of testing down to a very practical level.

Today you can test 28 different genetic snippets for $250. These genetic variations relate to cardiovascular fitness, glucose balance, salt sensitivity, triglyceride clearance, cholesterol metabolism, collagen formation and bone structure, aerobic capacity, detoxification, inflammatory response, vascular flow, B vitamin metabolism, and antioxidant function.

For example, the gene MTHFR codes for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase which converts folic acid (folate) in food to 5-MTHF, the biologically active form of folic acid in the body. Eight percent of the population has inherited altered snippets (SNP’s) from both parents and are unable to convert folic acid in the small intestine. These patients will be anemic unless supplementation with 5-MTHF is added to the diet.

A much more common finding (25% of the population) is a genetic variant from just one parent. These patients can convert folic acid only when the cells of the body pick the unaltered gene snippet to copy. Research indicates this happens about 50% of the time but less often when the body is stressed.

On average, that is one out of every four patients I see in my office daily. The same statistics hold true for vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Please review two of my early blogs “Vitamin B12 – Are You Deficient?” posted on October 9, 2013 and “Vitamin B6” posted on March 12, 2014.

The QA (Quintessential Applications) protocol I use identifies deficiencies in all these B vitamins and will even reveal the need for the bio-available forms. However, it does not identify the genetic variant. Although a CBC (complete blood count) may show a deficiency in either folic acid or B12, it can miss these deficiencies as together these two vitamins are involved in over 300 chemical pathways in the body.

If you are genetically predisposed to serum lipid imbalance, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, or altered inflammatory response once identified, you can take simple steps now to help prevent the diseases associated with these metabolic errors.

However, trying to treat these conditions without being aware of these genetic errors will meet with limited success at best.

The Bottom Line:
Please consider this value new resource for preventative health care. I am making it available to all my patients. Unlike most testing, it is a one-time event that could put you on the right road to health.

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